The best gadgets in tech fill a void you never knew existed. Sometimes the essence of luxury is paying just a little bit of money for a more elegant solution to 21st-century problems. Sometimes, it's as simple as dropping 50 bucks to use your AirPods with your Nintendo Switch.
Released by Twelve South back in November, the AirFly Pro Switch Edition adapter — currently available for $49.99 — is a floppy little dongle that plugs into any headphone jack and streams audio to up to two sets of Bluetooth headphones.
Though the AirFly Pro aims at the Nintendo Switch and Apple AirPods specifically, it can be used with just about anything: airplanes, treadmills, tablets, you name it. It can even receive audio for use with AUX inputs in cars or with wired speakers if you want your phone to transmit music or driving directions. There's a lot to love if you can stomach the price tag. And yet, the cheaper options out there aren't as comprehensive, so you're getting what you pay for.
What's great about AirFly Pro Switch Edition
- Easy to connect any Bluetooth pair of headphones to any headphone jack
- It can even split the audio into 2 sets of headphones
- Functions whether or not the Switch is docked
- Self-powered so it doesn't drain the Switch's battery
The AirFly Pro is surprisingly intuitive to use for something with a minimalistic interface. All you need to do is press and hold the main button on the side to turn them on, and they'll automatically enter pairing mode. You do the same on the AirPods case and presto. A double-press of the main button is all it takes to connect a second pair.
If ever the Switch is docked and you want to use a pair of headphones with a single- or two-player game, you've got that option. Or, if you're playing using the Switch's innate kickstand with one or two people, it works just as well. And because the adaptor is self-powered, it won't ever drain the Switch's battery. (Pro tip: It charges with a USB-C, so you can use your Switch power adaptor to charge it.)
AirFly Pro can also be used in cars to stream music or directions to the car stereo, which is a peculiar usage that feels a bit outdated. If you have a car, you probably already have an easy way to connect your phone to it, but this gives you one more option.
What's not so great about AirFly Pro Switch Edition
- The use-cases make it a bit niche
- The dongle seems heavier than it should be
- Its price makes it out-of-reach unless you need it
I first used the Airfly Pro when playing Ring Fit Adventure while my Switch was hooked up to the Vissles-M portable screen, mainly because I didn't have my Switch dock at the time and didn't want to exercise while looking at the tiny screen from afar. This was a convoluted setup that actually worked extremely well. But therein lies a key drawback: This product is a bit too niche for its price tag.
Most Switch gamers probably spend most of their time holding the console in their hands with regular headphones plugged directly into it. That's how I've spent hundreds of hours. I never had a desire to go wireless until the option was presented to me. But if you're the type of Switch owner who often uses the Switch's kickstand and detaches the Joy-Cons, or even if you use the dock often and want a wireless headphones option, then the Airfly Pro becomes that much more compelling.
The AirFly dongle isn't heavy per se, but it's heavy enough that the way it flops over the back of the Switch feels a bit odd. The weight is just barely noticeable, which could prove distracting or straining over the course of long gaming sessions. I found myself wishing it were a bit less obtrusive and smaller. If it were to fit snugly into the console, that might even be an improvement, but then it would limit its usability on other devices. A smaller and cheaper version would be ideal, but for now, it's still pretty great.
Do you already own a Switch and AirPods? Ditch your other headphones and get an AirFly Pro Switch Edition ASAP.
Sophisticated Gamer is a series all about elevated gaming accessories you won't be embarrassed to show to your Tinder date. We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too.